Browsing: shutdown

Shutdown over: Federal employees should report to work Thursday morning. Back pay coming soon.


The 16-day partial government shutdown is officially over as President Obama has signed a stop-gap spending bill, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell said in a message released early Thursday morning. “This evening, the President signed a continuing resolution that reopens the federal government and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to all departments and agencies to resume operations in a prompt and orderly manner,” Burwell said.  “In the days ahead, we will work closely with departments and agencies to make the transition back to full operating status as smooth as possible. This has been a particularly challenging time…

Shutdown Watch-Day 15. It's white-knuckle time.


Good morning! Let’s start the day with a cheery observation often attributed to the 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson: “Nothing concentrates a man’s mind more than the prospect of being hanged in the morning.” Figuratively speaking, the same seems to be true of Congress. The specter of impending economic calamity, combined with rising public disapproval, (particularly for Republicans), over the partial government shutdown, appears to have prodded senators to close in on yet another stop-gap budget deal that could have just as easily been reached a month ago. As reported by Defense News, a sister publication of Federal Times, Senate…

How has the shutdown affected you?


Hi everyone: As of tomorrow morning, much of the federal government will have been closed for two full weeks.  If you’re a federal employee, how has this affected you? Federal Times is working on an article about the shutdown’s impact on the federal workforce; if you’d like to share your story, please email Staff Writer Sean Reilly at and let me know how to reach you. Thanks very much! Sean

House members press for Senate action on back-pay bill


Two Virginia lawmakers are seeking quick Senate action on legislation that would assure back pay to furloughed federal employees once the partial government shutdown ends. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., passed the House last Saturday 407-0, but has stalled in the Senate, where Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has voiced reservations about a fast-track vote. In a Friday letter, Moran and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., the bill’s lead Republican co-sponsor, urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to work with their “respective caucuses to overcome any objections to advance this important legislation.”

Government shutdown begins


The closing of a vast swath of government operations is now under way as this Office of Management and Budget memo makes clear. The U.S. Agriculture Department, meanwhile, has wasted no time taking down its website. The Office of Personnel Management’s site, however, is still live, with a page with guidance on everything you probably never wanted to know about employee furloughs.

NIST cancels conference as shutdown looms


At least one federal conference is being postponed this week because of a potential government shutdown. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is postponing its Cloud Computing and Mobility Forum this week “because we could not guarantee NIST’s facility would be open on the first day of the meeting, Oct. 1,” according to an agency spokeswoman. “The meeting has not been rescheduled.” More than 500 people had registered for the conference, including about 130 federal employees. Many federal employees would be forced to stay home without pay if Congress doesn’t strike a budget deal by midnight. Just at DoD, some 400,000 employees…

Debt ceiling doomsday may come as early as Feb. 15


Now that the tax portion of the fiscal cliff mess has been resolved — for now, at least — the next major dispute will likely be over raising the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said last month that although the federal government reached its debt limit Dec. 31, he could finagle another two months or so by taking so-called “extraordinary measures.” That implied the government could keep running as-is until the end of February. It turns out those measures may not be all that extraordinary. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that studies budgetary matters, just put out…

OMB posts shutdown guidance


More evidence–as if more were needed–that this government spending standoff is getting serious: the Office of Management and Budget has just posted a 16-page memo for shutdown planning on its web site. Lots of technical advice for agencies on topics like travel, IT operations and contracting. The latest stopgap spending resolution expires at midnight Friday. If Congress appears unlikely to enact a new one Saturday, OMB will issue instructions the same day “for agencies to proceed with their shutdown implementation,” Director Jack Lew wrote in the memo. On one burning question, OMB leaves it up to agencies to decide whether…